MTN Group resumed annual dividends on Wednesday, declaring a higher payout than previous guidance as a divestment plan made progress and the firm reported higher profit.
Last year March, MTN suspended dividends to focus on reducing debt and because of uncertainty around cash-upstreaming from Nigeria, the timing of proceeds from its asset realisation programme and the impact of Covid-19.
It said at the time it would announce a revised medium-term dividend policy in March 2022 and anticipated paying a total ordinary dividend of at least R2.60/share for fiscal 2021.
“The board has looked at the cash balances, solvency and liquidity as well as the investment profile that we have in the year ahead and has declared a dividend of R3/share, so 40c higher than our minimum,” said group CEO Ralph Mupita.
It also announced a new dividend policy, to guide the market annually on a dividend amount, subject to its capital allocation priorities and market conditions, Mupita added.
With its new policy, MTN anticipates paying a minimum ordinary final dividend of R3.30 for financial year 2022.
MTN, with 273 million customers in 19 countries across Africa and the Middle East, said headline earnings per share rose by 31.8% to R9.87, up from R7.49 a year earlier. — (c) 2022 Reuters